Date:Thursday December 31 2009
Dynamo Guy a poster on Vital Burnley from the States and a supporter of US MSL side, Houston Dynamo has provided some insight into two of the Clarets rumoured targets, midfielders Stuart Holden and Ricardo Clark and we provide his contribution below.
You may remember Dynamo Guy from the past after he contributed to the Ade Akinbiyi story during the time our former striker played for Houston Dynamo before being released.
We are grateful once more to Dynamo Guy for providing some local insight into players of interest to our readers.
BURNLEY SCOUTS ARE WORKING OVERTIME IN THE LONE STAR STATE
Burnley is rumored to be negotiating with two American midfielders freshly out of contract with MLS side, Houston Dynamo.
Central midfielder, Stuart Holden, 22 years old, was born in Aberdeen but has lived in Houston since he was 10. He was with Sunderland FC for the 2005 season but without a first team appearance. This stint in England was marred by a brutal attack on Holden while he was in Newcastle that left his eye socket fractured. In 2006 he joined Dynamo and served the team off the bench in its back-to-back 2006-2007 championship years. After the 2008 season, the trade of MLS all star, Dwayne DeRosario, to Toronto FC opened the midfield spot for Holden who embraced the opportunity with a break-out season appearing in 26 of 30 games. He contributed more than his 6 goals and 4 assists might suggest, leading to recognition as a 2009 MLS Best XI.
For country, Holden has played at the U-20 and U-23 level and represented the U.S. at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. He has been capped 12 times by the senior national team for which he has scored twice, one of those goals being a 30 yard game-tying strike in the 92nd minute. He was also named to the 2009 Gold Cup All Tournament Team.
On the pitch Holden has above average pace and good touch. He passes accurately with both feet and generates tremendous power with the right foot. He also has a knack for making well-timed runs that disrupt defensive formations.
Holden`s contract with MLS expires at the end of 2009. In early December, MLS commissioner, Don Garber, met with Holden and offered him a contract reported to be around $340K/£220K per year. While believed to be entertaining offers from Burnley, Blackburn, and Rangers, Holden has promised to respond to the MLS offer by 31-December. It is expected that the opportunity to play on the EPL grand stage will draw this young talent from his hometown.
The second Dynamo being linked to the Clarets is 26 year old defensive midfielder, Ricardo Clark. Clark joined MLS side San Jose Earthquakes in 2005 and moved with the rest of his teammates when the Earthquakes were relocated to Houston and renamed the Dynamo prior to the start of the 2006 season. While Clark played a key role in both of the Dynamo`s championship seasons, he did not play in either championship match. He missed the 2006 MLS Cup for yellow card accumulation. Late in the 2007 season, Clark was handed a MLS record 9 match suspension (and $10K fine) which covered the entire 2007 playoffs and the MLS Cup. Individual honors include being named a 2006 MLS Best XI and a MLS all star in 2006 and 2007.
Clark has been capped 26 times by the USMNT and has scored twice at the international level. One of the goals was a 26 yard game winner against Trinidad and Tobago in a 2009 World Cup Qualifier. Clark`s father, who was born in Trinidad, was at the match.
Quick feet make Clark a brilliant tackler. He has good closing speed and is seldom caught out of position. In the MLS its no secret that Clark looks for opportunities to push the ball into the final third and strike from distance from the right side. His left foot is less of a threat.
Before the start of the Serie A season, Livorno was in discussions with Dynamo for Clark. Dynamo, near the top of the table at the time and expecting to compete for another MLS title, would not release Clark before the end of the 2009 MLS campaign. Out of contract at the end of 2009, Clark announced he would not re-sign with MLS before the 2009 season concluded. Since that time he has been linked with Burnley, Celtic, and occasionally Livorno.
Date:Thursday December 31 2009
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